The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service Dawda Fadera and the UNICEF Resident Representative Sara Beysolow Nyanti, signed an MoU for the implementation of the 2017 UNICEF work plan, valued at about $6m. The signing ceremony was held at the office of the Secretary General at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday 23rd February, 2017.
The 2017 work plan highlights the various intervention areas in UNICEF’s new country programme, with a key focus on two programmatic streams: Child Survival and Development (CSD), and Protection and Inclusion of Children (PIC). These will be propped up by various cross sectoral components, geared towards ensuring the respect and fulfillment of the rights of all children in The Gambia. The UNICEF work plan for 2017 marks the beginning of the agency’s new five-year country programme, with interventions targeting children in all regions of The Gambia. It is the result of a series of consultations with government, civil society partners and sister UN agencies, to identify the key priorities for children and women in The Gambia. The activities in the work plan will contribute to efforts geared towards addressing the challenges and closing the gaps in various sectors including health, nutrition, education and protection, with UNICEF providing significant financial and technical support.
The UNICEF Resident Representative, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, expressed gratitude to the Government of The Gambia for the stamp of approval on the work plan, which signals the commencement of work in the various intervention areas. She noted that UNICEF is committed to reaching the last child in the last village of The Gambia with the basic services needed for their survival and development. Madam Nyanti also spoke to the Secretary General about UNICEF’s response to the humanitarian crisis during the political impasse in The Gambia. She cited the need for the organization to work in the humanitarian context during that period, something which was done through the Gambian Red Cross. She noted that although the work plan with government had not been signed, UNICEF had to act as over 80% of those displaced and on the move were children and women. She stressed that emergency situations require the organization to work in its humanitarian mode, adding that Gambian Red Cross Society was able to distribute lifesaving supplies and train responders due to the support of UNICEF. She noted with appreciation key partnerships within the government such as those with NaNA, Ministry of Health,, Department Of Social Welfare, MoBSE, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Women’s Bureau and others; and used the opportunity to renew UNICEF’s commitment to its mandate of supporting the Government of The Gambia and civil society partners to ensure the effective delivery of tangible results for children and women in the country.
The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dawda Fadera, expressed delight in signing the UNICEF 2017 work plan, noting that it is important for work to continue in The Gambia. He thanked UNICEF for their partnership with the Government of The Gambia over the past years, and told the UNICEF Representative that his doors are always open for business. SG Fadera harped on government’s commitment to ensure that children have access to quality services, and that their basic needs are met.
The two heads of institutions exchanged signed copies of the 2017 work plan, and shared their hopes for its successful implementation.